Zimbabwe: Zuma’s tough negotiations with Zanu-Pf and MDC emerge

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Finer details of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma mediation trip to Zimbabwe are starting to emerge. Last week, Zuma spent two days in Harare locked up in talks with political rivals, Mugabe’s Zanu PF and the premier Tvsanagirai’s MDC.

Although initial indications were that he left Harare empty handed, ‘encouraging’ news began to filter through over the weekend. Sources from both MDC and Zanu PF say “landmark strides where made’ and proposals would be finalised by negotiators before the end of the month.

Zuma reportedly tabled a golden handshake proposal for controversial Zimbabwe Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and central Bank boss Gedeon Gono.

“Zuma told Tomana that he was illegally appointed by Mugabe. He was told to
give up the Attorney General’s post in order to save the country from further political and economic decline,” said the source.

A bench in the High Court judges was dangled to him.

On Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono, Zuma also offered the position of Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa. The incumbent Moyo is now Zanu PF National Chairman and should be stationed in Harare.

“Zuma also told Gono that he was a stumbling block to the economic revival of the country and was urged to sacrifice his loyalty to Zanu PF and relinquish his post,” said the sources.

The sources also revealed that Zuma told Roy Bennet to consider another ministerial portfolio other than agriculture as Zanu PF was now willing to have a former white farmer occupying a senior agricultural portfolio.

“Zanu PF is not at ease with Bennet and so they want him to occupy a less influential ministerial post,” said the source.

The MDC has been highly critical of the two men, blaming Gono for fuelling hyperinflation through printing money to shore up Mugabe’s past governments, while accusing Tomana of presiding over the prosecution of rights and opposition activists.

Mugabe has maintained that Tomana and Gono would not go, but the issue was referred to the regional body for arbitration, culminating in the latest overtures.

Some of the measures on which Zuma, reportedly, won agreement include:

 The resignation of Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono;

 The appointment of Attorney-general Johannes Tomana as a high court judge and replacement by someone acceptable to all three parties;

 The dropping of Treason charges against MDC MP Roy Bennett, and his appointment to a different position different to the deputy agriculture minister slot initially assigned to him;

 The sharing of ten provincial governorships among the parties and;

 The involvement of all parties in lobbying activities for the lifting of targeted sanctions against Mugabe and key Zanu-PF leaders.

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